Manchester United are in desperate need of reinforcements after a woeful 2013-14 season saw them finish seventh in the Premier League.
Veteran defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have left Old Trafford, but Patrice Evra recently signed a contract extension tying him to the club for at least another season, per Sky Sports.
However, new boss Louis van Gaal still has a real job on his hands to rebuild United to the level they were before the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the Red Devils have been linked with a number of players. Here we round up the latest news on Atletico Madrid pair Miranda and Arda Turan.
Miranda Deal Not So Certain
On Wednesday, Spanish sports newspaper AS seemed to suggest central defender Miranda's move from the Vicente Calderon to Old Trafford was all but complete.
Our sources say Miranda to Man Utd is all but done (including the 'he's looked for schools in the area' tidbit) @mufcfansindia— AS English (@English_AS) May 28, 2014
The deal seems to make perfect sense considering the loss of Vidic and Ferdinand and United's need for experience and quality in the middle of the back four.
The 29-year-old made 32 league appearances in Atletico's victorious La Liga campaign this season, in which they conceded only 26 goals—fewer than any other side—per ESPN FC.
However, Ian Ladyman in the Daily Mail reports that United have denied that they were close to signing the much-lauded defender:
"Manchester United have quashed reports in Spain that they triggered Atletico Madrid defender Miranda's £24million release clause."
Furthermore, reports in Spanish sports newspaper Marca suggest the Brazilian may be on his way to Barcelona, who have made contact with the player's agent as they look to strengthen their back four:
Barcelona made first contact with the defender's agent on Wednesday in an attempt to negotiate the personal terms of his new contract. There is no room for negotiation with Atlético de Madrid, as the club have no intention of letting their man go for less than his 20m buy-out clause.
Sky Sports' Graeme Bailey confirms the confusion but suggests United may miss out on Miranda:
Conflicting reports on Miranda in Spain this morning, with many claiming he is indeed Barcelona bound - rather than Manchester United.— Graeme Bailey (@GraemeBailey) May 29, 2014
Van Gaal would do well to pursue Miranda as he has proven quality at the very highest level, and that is exactly what the Old Trafford outfit need if they are to return to their former glories.
Ladyman quotes Daily Mail colleague Pete Jenson in his piece, who holds the defender in high esteem:
Most commentators in Spain believe Miranda has been the best defender in La Liga this season and no one can quite understand why both he and his Atletico team-mate Felipe Luis have been left out of the Brazil squad – all the better for United who will get a player who has rested throughout the summer having put in the season of his career.
United Leading Race for Turan
Atletico midfielder Turan is reportedly interested in a move to the Premier League, with the Red Devils currently leading the race for the Turkish international's signature.
The player's agent, Ahmet Bulut, confirmed interest from the Premier League, suggesting an offer has been tabled, per Alex Richards in the Daily Mirror:
Arda is currently playing at a big club with big ambitions. He wants to be part of that success, but we must wait and see what happens.
An offer from an English club has arrived. As in every transfer, two parties, the player and the club, they must make a decision.
Turan was a mainstay of Diego Simeone's title-winning side, making 30 La Liga appearances and nine in Atletico's runners-up Champions League campaign.
Similarly to Miranda, the 27-year-old would bring a wealth of experience to the Red Devils, as well as much-needed quality in midfield where he displays great ball control and vision, two qualities sorely lacking across United's middle.
Youngster Rabiot Looking for an Out
Another midfielder reportedly being looked at by United is Paris St-Germain's 19-year-old Adrien Rabiot.
Simon Jones reports in the Daily Mail that the Frenchman is looking for a move:
Manchester United are checking on Paris St Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
The 19-year-old is interested in leaving Paris as he is keen to play more games.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have all monitored his progress in recent months but United have also added him to their list of potential summer signings.
Rabiot made 25 appearances for PSG in Ligue 1 in 2013-14 but 13 of them were as a substitute, per WhoScored.com.
If the defensive midfielder is indeed looking for an out, he could be an ideal candidate to marshall United's central midfield, a role which Tom Cleverley and Marouane Fellaini have largely failed at in recent times.
However, French football expert Andrew Gibney thinks Rabiot is too young at present to merit a starting berth at the highest level:
I love Adrien Rabiot but he is not ready to start in Manchester United or Arsenal's midfield at the moment. Still learning his trade.— Andrew Gibney (@Gibney_A) May 29, 2014
Despite this, Rabiot may still seem a sound investment for Van Gaal who will be looking to bring depth to the United midfield.
There is no doubt United need to strengthen, especially at the back and in midfield, and to lose out on Miranda would be a blow if he does indeed end up at Barca.
However, the pursuit of creativity and solidity in the middle of the park prove that the United hierarchy are aware of the team's issues and are attempting to rectify them.
They must hope United's lack of European football next season does not put high-profile players off a move to Old Trafford, as it is that quality of player they so desperately need.